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Sat May 2, 2015, 09:12 PM

"If you want to destroy a people, first break their men"

Baltimore, Maryland (CNN)He was a quiet man who once stood watch on his front porch, just three blocks away from where a riot erupted in West Baltimore this week.

We called him "Mr. Shields" because no one dared use his first name. He'd step onto his porch at night in plaid shorts and black knit dress socks to watch the Baltimore Orioles play on his portable television set.

He was a steelworker, but he looked debonair: thin mustache always trimmed; wavy salt-and-pepper hair touched up with pomade; cocoa brown skin. He sat like a sentry, watching not just the games but the neighborhood as well.

I knew Mr. Shields' routine because I was his neighbor. I grew up in the West Baltimore community that was rocked this week by protests over the death of a young black man in police custody.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/02/us/lord-of-the-flies-baltimore/index.html

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Reply "If you want to destroy a people, first break their men" (Original post)
Major Nikon May 2015 OP
lumberjack_jeff May 2015 #1
RiffRandell May 2015 #2
Chisox08 May 2015 #3
Eleanors38 May 2015 #4

Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 11:44 AM

1. Exactly. Great article.

 

William Raspberry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the Washington Post, once invoked the book's title in a column to describe what was happening to young black men in inner cities across America. He said that without the civilizing influence of older men to guide them, young black men never develop an internal moral compass. They become castaways. I read Raspberry's essay after college and kept it for years. It spoke so well to what I saw in the 1980s when the crack epidemic first hit my neighborhood.

I heard Raspberry's voice again this week when I talked to a 27-year-old black man named Juan Grant. He knew Gray, whose death in police custody lit the fuse in Baltimore. Grant stood no more than a foot from me, but as he talked, he yelled at me in frustration, spittle coming from his mouth. He said Gray's death had convinced him and his friends to stop "ripping and running" the streets. They wanted boys to respect them as men.

But they didn't know how to get that respect because their fathers had never been around. He described their dilemma with a bitter laugh:

"It's men learning on the job trying to teach young men how to be men."

Raspberry wrote his column 28 years ago. Now there are even more castaways like Grant in West Baltimore. Yet here's the twist: They don't just feel abandoned by indifferent white people; many feel ignored by the city's black political leaders.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:57 PM

2. +1.

Also remind me of Laurence Fishburne's speech to his son and other people in Boyz in the Hood.

Slightly different from the article, but true and that movie came out in 1991.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 12:19 PM

3. Exactly

What makes it worse is the fact nobody gives a shit until property gets burned, and even then they care more about the damaged property than the damaged boys and men.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri May 8, 2015, 04:24 PM

4. Quite a story. After reading "Deer Hunting with Jesus," there is resonance enough with Mr. Shields'

 

remarks to generalize the same applies to other peoples.

One disturbing problem I have observed with black leaders and political culture: Almost uniform support for the WOD, the mill house for "big numbers." I wonder (still do) why this entrenched pro-WOD stance was maintained in the face of the consequences. I just don't understand, except that such a position might shield against the Soft On DrugsŪ hammering a weakened Demo Party was taking by the GOPers.

Only now, have some people come around to see the utter, deep, long-term destruction the WOD has caused. And then, only some.

I also wonder how many black leaders still cling to WOD orthodoxy, even now.

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